How to apply for that perfect job

Written by: UCAS
Published on: 24 Feb 2021

Researching your options, identifying your strengths, and understanding what interests you will help you discover the career path that’s right for you and find your perfect job. 

What type of work do you want to do?

Start by thinking about your skills and knowledge, and what interests you. Try the Buzz quiz on ucas.com to see which job areas might suit your interests.

On ucas.com you can also explore job profiles – check entry requirements, skills, and qualities employers look for, and any work experience which might be useful.  

Careers advice

If you want to discuss your ideas and get more careers information, advice and guidance, visit the website below for the UK region you live in. They also have free helpline numbers you can call:

Do your research

You already have many skills, and identifying these will help you focus on which jobs might be the right fit for you. Your personal qualities and attitudes are just as important as your qualifications. Read about the skills employers are looking for and how to develop these, on ucas.com.

Once you’ve narrowed down some career areas, do your research to find out more about possible jobs and their salaries on Career Finder.

Then make a shortlist of jobs, and do some investigation into the roles and the companies:

  1. Find out about the employer – check the ‘About us’ and jobs sections on their website. It will often give an idea of the type of people they employ. Research their LinkedIn page and their social media websites. Do you think you would fit in with their values and  culture – is this the type of company you want to work for? Think about why you would (or wouldn’t!) want to work for this employer.
  2. Have you already got the required qualifications, subjects, and grades they’re looking for?
  3. Are your personal qualities, skills, and attitudes a good match with the type of person they want to employ?
  4. Do you meet the essential and desirable skills and experience they’re looking for, and can you think of any specific examples to demonstrate this? 
  5. Would it be useful to get some work experience?

Networking

Many vacancies are not openly advertised through online job searches, but are shared through networking.

You may not realise it but you’re already part of a huge network – think of all the people you know. Family, friends, colleagues, ex-colleagues, school and uni/college friends, neighbours… and each network can connect you to another. Networking to find a job means you’ll have the advantage of already being connected with the employer. Reach out to your network for help and advice in your job search.

Join social networks

LinkedIn is the most obvious place for professional social networking. Upload your CV, along with photos, videos, and documents to enhance your profile, ready for potential employers to spot you. You can also follow employers and join groups related to the sector you’d like to work in – comment on posts to help grow your connections.

Find out more about perfecting your LinkedIn profile.

Other social media websites are useful for networking too. Follow employers on Twitter and Instagram for their latest news, and subscribe to employers’ YouTube channels to find out more about them and their employees.